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Assignment 1 Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Me
Assignment 1 Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt takes audiences on a satirically comedic yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver-tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. Take notes as you watch the film with the questions below in mind: Evaluate the use of the illusionist analogy in describing the political and corporate deniers of climate change. Is it a fair comparison? Why do you think many people tend to reject scientific truths predicting future harm when such truths threaten the status quo or call into question the sustainability of certain economic and cultural habits and values? What “clubs” or “tribes” do you belong to (identify with) that might influence the way that you view scientific evidence? For example, think of political affiliation, religious/spiritual identity, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status, etc. Explain how this part of your identity impacts your bias toward how you view the world and how you view scientific evidence. How would you critique both the roles of scientists and journalists as public communicators? How would you compare and contrast their missions? Make a list of the sources of news you find most reliable. Explain what makes them trustworthy in your eyes. Given human skepticism, an unwillingness to change, and past failures of prediction, what might scientists, journalists, and responsible policy makers do to persuade people that climate change and its effects are real? Utilize the following articles to add insight to your response: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/sep/19/shell-and-exxons-secret-1980s-climate-change-warnings
U.S. Public Views on Climate and Energy
https://www.pnas.org/doi/pdf/10.1073/pnas.1509433112 Be thoughtful in your responses. Write 3 page summary and response to the film answering the questions above. The assignment needs to be written in essay format with a clearly developed thesis, examples from the film, supported by the readings, and with proper writing mechanics. Font: Times New Roman Font size: 12 pt. font. Margins:1-inch margins. Spacing: Double Spaced. Assignment 2 Most Americans, especially Californians, tend to think that the San Andreas Fault poses the largest threat to American cities. Most forget that there is a much larger potential disaster in the Pacific Northwest along the Cascadia Subduction Zone. While the San Andreas Fault tends to unleash earthquakes maxing out around M8.0 on the Richter Scale, the Cascadia Subduction Zone unleashed a M9.0 (30x greater than a M8.0) in 1700. A tsunami was also generated. Directions: For this assignment, you are to do the following: 1. Read/listen to the articles listed below. Take notes. Click on the provided hyperlinks to take you to the articles. You are required to reference at least three (3) of the articles listed below: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one/amp https://slate.com/technology/2015/09/earthquakes-and-tsunamis-in-the-pacific-northwest-native-american-myths-and-geoscience.html https://www.city-journal.org/html/richter-scale-16405.html https://gizmodo.com/inside-the-plan-to-prepare-the-pacific-northwest-for-a-1832591821 https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/seattle-makes-little-progress-on-buildings-that-can-kill-in-earthquakes/ Analyze the points you collected from the articles. Focus on sections where you can make connections to Diamond's five-point framework. Here is a link to the video we watched at the beginning of the semester to refresh your memory: Why societies collapse | Jared Diamond Keeping Diamond's Theory in mind, analyze the argument that Seattle and other cities in the Pacific Northwest are unprepared for a massive earthquake and tsunami. How did dysfunctional societal factors increase the likelihood that this region is now more susceptible to a tectonic disturbance? How was the area caught so unprepared? What's being done to mitigate the damage? 4. Write a short 1 page analysis where you discuss the prompts above. I recommend that you open a word processing program like Word or Google Docs to write out your assignment and then "cut and paste" your response to Canvas. Spacing: Single-spaced Font: Times New Roman Font size: 12 pt Margins: 1-inch on all sides Papers need to be written using proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

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